Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal has written to Chief Ministers to use the opportunity of implementation of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, to mobilise stronger commitment, harness new resources for elementary education and reinforce programme delivery on the ground.

As the Right to Education Act, 2009, becomes operational on April 1, the Minister has impressed upon the States to organise public meetings, rallies and conventions at the level of the districts and blocks to spread the message that “elementary education of equitable quality is now the right of every child.”

A nationwide recognition of the elementary stage of education, consisting of eight years of regular schooling, is now necessary to ensure the pursuit of quality with equity. “I am confident that you will take all preparatory steps necessary to begin implementing the provisions of the RTE Act with effect from April 1,” the Minister said in the letter written earlier this month.

Flagging certain issues, Mr. Sibal has said resources available under all related Centrally-sponsored schemes, including the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, mid-day meal, teacher education, as also the Total Sanitation Campaign and Drinking Water Mission should be factored in for implementing the provisions of the RTE Act.

Asking the States to initiate school and social mapping exercise to ensure availability of neighbourhood schools as mandated under the Act, he said children who were out of school should be aided to enrol in an age-appropriate class. They should be provided special training to integrate emotionally and academically with other children of the school. The pupil-student ratios should be maintained, but keeping in mind that women teachers had demanding domestic responsibilities, their special circumstances should be given due consideration.

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